Rockets' streak ends

The Baltimore Sun

The Boston Celtics defeated Houston 94-74, last night, ending the host Rockets' 22-game winning streak.

Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and Paul Pierce added 20 as the Celtics handed the Rockets their first loss since losing to the Utah Jazz on Jan. 27.

Houston had put together the NBA's second-longest winning streak, but it ended 11 shy of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 in a row.

It was only Houston's second loss in 28 games and its fourth since a 97-93 loss in Boston on Jan. 2, a game Tracy McGrady sat out with a knee injury. The Rockets also lost for the first time in 11 games since Yao Ming went out with a season-ending foot injury Feb. 26.

Luis Scola scored 15 for Houston, which also saw its 15-game home streak end. Only the 1985-86 Rockets, who won 20 straight at The Summit, had a longer home-court streak in franchise history.

McGrady had eight assists and seven rebounds, but only eight points on 4-for-11 shooting. Reserve Leon Powe added 21 points for the Celtics, who've won 13 of their past 14 games, the past three without All-Star guard Ray Allen, who's out with a sore left ankle.

Boston pulled away in the second half after the game was tied at 44, outscoring the Rockets by 20 points the rest of the way.

The Rockets still have one more streak to protect - they'll go for their 13th straight road win in New Orleans tonight.

Pistons 136, Nuggets 120 -- Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Rasheed Wallace added 21, and Detroit beat Denver in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Nuggets were coming off a record-setting 168-116 victory over Seattle, but it was Detroit's offense that took over. The Pistons hadn't scored 130 points in regulation since beating Denver, 130-116, on March 8, 2000. Linas Kleiza was thrown out of the game in the final minute for arguing a call. Chauncey Billups added 14 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, who had seven players in double figures. Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) led all scorers with 27 points, while Allen Iverson had 20 points and 11 assists. Denver also had seven players in double figures.

Lakers 102, Mavericks 100 -- Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Vladimir Radmanovic scored 10 of his 21 in the final quarter, giving visiting Los Angeles just enough to hold off Dallas. The Lakers led by 25 points midway through the third quarter, but were up only 101-100 with 4.8 seconds left. Derek Fisher made one of two foul shots after that, and Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to win it for Dallas but missed a three-pointer as time expired. Nowitzki had 35 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five blocks, but the Mavericks' five-game winning streak ended. Dallas fell to 0-6 against teams with winning records since adding Jason Kidd.

Heat 112, Bucks 106 -- Jason Williams and Ricky Davis had double doubles, Chris Quinn hit three crucial three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Miami ended an 0-for-March streak with a victory at Milwaukee. Miami had lost eight in a row. Quinn scored 17 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Heat rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to hand the Bucks their sixth straight loss. Williams finished with 21 points and 10 assists, and Davis had 14 points and 10 assists.

Bulls 112, Nets 96 -- Luol Deng scored 20 points, and Drew Gooden had 19 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago built a big halftime lead at home, survived a sluggish third quarter and pulled away for a victory over New Jersey. Ben Gordon scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Larry Hughes added 16 in Chicago's balanced attack. Vince Carter led the Nets with 22 points and Richard Jefferson finished with 21.

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